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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 279 pages of information about Famous Stories Every Child Should Know.
fancy for winding through the dark shades and forest walks, with my loose white clothes floating about me; now and then a pretty sunbeam will glance over me as I go.”—­“You seem to be a very curious person,” replied the Priest “and I should like to know more about you.”—­“And pray who are you, to carry on the acquaintance?” said the stranger.  “They call me Father Heilmann,” answered the Priest, “and I belong to St. Mary’s monastery, beyond the lake.”—­“Ay, ay!” rejoined the other.  “My name is Kuehleborn, and if I stood upon ceremony, I might well call myself Lord of Kuehleborn, or Baron (Freiherr) Kuehleborn; for free I am, as the bird of the air, or a trifle more free.  For instance, I must now have a word with the young woman there.”  And before they could look round, he was on the other side of the Priest, close to Undine, and stretching up his tall figure to whisper in her ear.  But she turned hastily away, saying, “I have nothing more to do with you now.”—­“Heyday!” said the stranger, laughing, “what a prodigiously grand marriage yours must be, if you are to cast off your relations in this way!  Have you forgotten Uncle Kuehleborn, who brought you all the way here on his back so kindly?”

“But I entreat you,” said Undine, “never come to me again.  I am afraid of you now; and will not my husband become afraid of me, if he finds I have so strange a family?”—­“My little niece,” said Kuehleborn, “please to remember that I am protecting you all this time; the foul Spirits of Earth might play you troublesome tricks if I did not.  So you had better let me go on with you, and no more words.  The old Priest there has a better memory than yours, for he would have it he knew my face very well, and that I must have been with him in the boat, when he fell into the water.  And he may well say so, seeing that the wave which washed him over was none but myself, and I landed him safe on the shore, in time for your wedding.”

Undine and the Knight looked at Father Heilmann, but he seemed to be plodding on in a waking dream, and not listening to what was said.  Undine said to Kuehleborn, “There, I can see the end of the wood; we want your help no longer, and there is nothing to disturb us but you.  So in love and kindness I entreat you, begone, and let us go in peace.”  This seemed to make Kuehleborn angry; he twisted his face hideously, and hissed at Undine, who cried aloud for help.  Like lightning the Knight passed round her horse, and aimed a blow at Kuehleborn’s head with his sword.  But instead of the head, he struck into a waterfall, which gushed down a high cliff near them, and now showered them all with a splash that sounded like laughter, and wetted them to the bone.  The Priest, seeming to wake up, said, “Well, I was expecting this, because that brook gushed down the rock so close to us.  At first I could not shake off the idea that it was a man, and was speaking to me.”  The waterfall whispered distinctly in Huldbrand’s ear, “Rash youth, dashing youth, I chide thee not, I shame thee not; still shield thy precious wife safe and sure, rash young soldier, dashing Knight!”

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